Interstate 10 / Interstate 19 Traffic Interchange

Client Program / Project Description. From the success of the I-10 / Miracle Mile Traffic Interchange and other projects, ADOT recognized the benefits of public involvement, and of public appreciation for structure aesthetics in large-scale, high-profile projects.  This has led to additional projects of this type.  The I-10 / I-19 project includes structure aesthetics on cast-in-place concrete columns and walls and landscape materials to define the Interchange as an important landmark along two, international trade network highways.  Project themes were developed through interaction with ADOT staff and local residents.

During design, WSA learned that the Interchange site has witnessed more than 4,000 years of life and travel.  The resulting “Crossroads” plan acknowledges the site’s visual importance and historic and cultural significance.  The design celebrates the Yaqui, O’odham, Apache, African, Asian and European peoples who have built communities, cultivated crops and continue to travel these historic routes.  The corn, beans, squash and sunflowers depicted on the columns and walls symbolize our common ground.

The landscape design concept reflects a gateway theme into the United States beginning with a circular groove of large-scale trees encircling the interchange.  Landform, inert materials and sculptural desert plants are planted within the circle revealing “threads” of color and reflecting forms from the wall and columns.  Native plant material includes Ocotillo, Saguaro, Blue Palo Verde and Mesquite.

“We love it and it is so Tucson.”  –Native Tucsonan at project dedication

WSA Scope and Role. WSA’s work began with updating the I-10 Corridor Aesthetic Plan to incorporate I-19 and to guide future work, and the visual analysis portion of the Environmental Assessment (EA) assessing the visual impact of the proposed structures for most effective application of mitigation measures, and testing the effectiveness of buffering strategies for the Federal Highway Administration.

WSA staff initiated and tested many ideas for the design of structure aesthetics for the interchange columns and walls.  The corn, beans, squash and sunflowers theme was arrived at after conversations with an archaeologist and a Yaqui native emphasized the many cultures that have lived in the area.

WSA prepared landscape, irrigation, inert materials and erosion control plans, specifications and cost estimates.

The construction phase was characterized by a serious commitment to collaboration that earned the team awards, and improved and refined the construction approach and project details.  This included color selection from samples, work with an artist selected by contractor to facilitate the finishing sunflower centers.

Project Team.

  • Owner: Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT)
  • Client: URS Corp.

Structure completed 2004, landscape completed 2009.

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